Majority of the British public are in favor of legalizing cannabis. That’s according to a new survey by Populus.
The poll shows that 59 percent of Brits tend to support or strongly support cannabis legalization. Only 31 percent of people surveyed oppose legalization.
The survey was commissioned by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis and think tank Volteface.
The survey results also show that support for legalization is at its highest among the younger set. Specifically, 68 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are in favor of legalizing marijuana. But when it comes to people who are over 65 years old, only less than half or 49 percent support the policy.
Legalization or decriminalization?
Two-thirds or 65 percent of the public approve of reforming the United Kingdom’s cannabis law. However, this number is split between 40 percent who believe in legalization and 25 percent who just want cannabis to be decriminalized.
With decriminalization, the sale and possession of pot would still be illegal. However, these would be regarded as just a minor offense instead of a criminal one.
Shift in public opinion
The new survey marks a shift in the British public’s opinion.
According to Volteface’s director of policy, Liz McCulloch, opinion has significantly swung in favor of marijuana legalization in just six months. This, she believes, is a reaction to recent developments surrounding medical marijuana.
McCullock said that increasing awareness of the harmful things that the black market bring about, as well as Canada legalizing recreational pot, contributed to this shift.
Cannabis, she added, is now firmly part of mainstream political discussion. This, together with an awareness of alternative approaches, made the legalization of marijuana viable policy option.
Cannabis in the UK
CannabizDaily has reported that specialist doctors in the country will be able to prescribe pot legally starting Nov. 1. This after Home Secretary Sajid Javid had commissioned a review of the government’s cannabis policy.
You can check out the report here.